Grosvenor School

Claude Flight

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Walter Claude Flight (born London 1881 – died 1955) also known as Claude Flight or W. Claude Flight was a British artist who pioneered and popularised the linoleum cut technique. He also painted, illustrated and made wood cuts.

Influenced by Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism, his work expressed dynamic rhythm through bold, simple forms. His linocut prints show his interest in depicting speed and movement.

Flight was a fervent promoter of the linoleum cut technique from the time he first used it in 1919. He felt by promoting the use of the cheap and easily obtained new material he was making it possible for the masses to be exposed to art. He saw in it the potentiality of a truly democratic art form.

Flight had tried a number of different careers before settling on art. He had kept bees, farmed and also had tried engineering before studying art at Heatherley School of Fine Art from 1913–1914 and from 1918. Flight exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1921, in Paris in 1922 and in London at the R.B.A. from 1923. He also exhibited regularly at the Redfern Gallery and abroad.

Flight was a member of the Seven and Five Society in 1923 whose members included Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. He was a member of the Grubb Group in 1928. He collaborated with Edith Lawrencewith whom he had an interior design business, taught at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art from 1926 and wrote and organized exhibitions on linocuts. His pupils included various now-famous print artists such as Lill Tschudi,Cyril Power, Eileen Mayo and Sybil Andrews.

He produced over 64 different prints and published 9 books on linocutting.

List of works

This print resulted from a Swiss summer holiday made by Flight and Edith Lawrence in 1933. They stayed as guests of Lill Tschudi at her family home in Schwanden.

Source: Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Lil Tschudi

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Lill Tschudi (1911–2004) was a Swiss artist associated with the Grosvenor School of Modern Art.

Lill Tschudi was born at Schwanden, Glarus, Switzerland. As a girl she saw an exhibit of linocut prints by Austrian artist Norbertine Bresslern Roth, and decided that she also wanted to be a printmaker.

Tschudi officially studied at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art from 1929 to 1930. From 1931 to 1933, she lived in Paris and studied with André Lhote, Gino Severini, and Fernand Léger. She returned to Switzerland in 1935, and lived mainly with her sister’s family (her sister Ida Tschudi-Schümperlin was also an artist).

Tschudi would produce over 300 linocuts in her career, exhibiting in London with Claude Flight and other printmakers. Her typical subjects included athletes, such as skiers and cyclists, transportation scenes, workers, and musicians. A wartime side project with her sister Ida involved printing illustrations for “Glarner Gemeindewappen,” a booklet of the municipal coats-of-arms for the Canton of Glarus, in 1941 (this booklet is now considered rare and quite valuable). Her 1933 print “Ice Hockey” was used for the cover illustration of Margaret Timmers, Impressions of the 20th Century: Fine Art Prints from the V&A Collection (Victoria & Albert Museum Publications 2001).

Tschudi died in Switzerland in 2004, age 93. Her work was featured in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s joint 2008 exhibit, “British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life, 1914–1939.” Prints by Grosvenor School artists, including Tschudi, proved popular at a 2012 auction in London. Her works were part of another exhibit in spring 2013, “The Cutting Edge of Modernity: An Exhibition of Grosvenor School Linocuts” at the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London.

Source: Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Sybil Andrews

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Women artists: Sybil Andrews

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Sybil Andrews (19 April 1898 – 21 December 1992) was an English printmaker best known for her modernist linocuts.

Life in England

Born Sybal Andrews in Bury St Edmunds, Andrews was unable to attend art school after finishing secondary school as her family lacked the funds to pay for tuition. Andrews first apprenticed as a welder and worked at an airplane factory during World War I, where she helped in the development of the first all-metal aeroplane for the Bristol Welding Company.During this period she took an art correspondence course and after the war returned to Bury St Edmunds where she was employed as an art teacher at Portland House School. In 1922 Andrews attended Heatherley’s School of Fine Art in London. She began producing and exhibiting linocuts from 1921 until 1939, working frequently with her informal partner Cyril Power. She also helped in the establishment and became the first secretary (1925–1928) of the The Grosvenor School of Modern Art. With the beginning of World War II, Andrews resumed work as a welder for the British Power Company, constructing warships. Here she met Walter Morgan, whom she married in 1943.

In England one of the largest collections in public ownership is held by St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Service Bury St Edmunds. This collection includes a number of early water-colour paintings, executed while the artist was still living in Suffolk.

Life in Canada

In 1947 she and Morgan moved to Canada and settled in Campbell River, British Columbia. Sybil Andrews was elected to the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers in 1951 when her linocut Indian Dance” was selected as the presentation print. In 1975 while working as a teacher and focusing on her practice she completed one of her major works”The Banner of St Edmund.” It is hand embroidered in silks on linen and was first conceived, designed and begun in 1930. This banner now hangs in the Treasury of the St James Cathedral in the town of her birth.

The Glenbow Museum in Canada houses the majority of her work with a collection of over 1000 examples of Andrews’ works, including all of her famous colour linocuts and the original linoleum blocks, oil paintings and watercolour, drawings, drypoint etchings, sketchbooks, and personal papers. In recent years her works have sold extremely well at auction with record prices being achieved primarily within Canada.

In 2015 an exhibition was held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada, “A Study in Contrast: Sybil Andrews and Gwenda Morgan”, comparing and contrasting the fellow Grosvenor School artists.

List of works

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Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Cyril Power

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Cyril Edward Power (17 December 1872 – 25 May 1951) was an English artist best known for his linocut prints, long-standing artistic partnership with Canadian artist Sybil Andrewsand for co-founding The Grosvenor School Of Modern Art in London in 1925. He was also a successful architect and teacher.

Early years and architecture

Cyril Edward Power was born on 17 December 1872 in Redcliffe Street, Chelsea, the eldest child of Edward William Power who encouraged him to draw from an early age. This passion led to him studying architecture and working in his father’s office before being awarded the Sloane Medallion by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1900 for his design for an art school.

During the early 1920s Power was producing watercolour landscapes and townscapes as well as the first of some 40 drypoints.

Power and Andrews enrolled at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art, London in 1925 when he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Power also helped Iain McNab and Claude Flight set up The Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Warwick Square, London with Andrews becoming the School Secretary. Power was a principal lecturer, typically on the subjects of: The Form and Structure of Buildings, Historical Ornament and Symbolism and Outline of Architectural Styles and Frank Rutter, the art critic, on Modern Painters from Cézanne to Picasso.

It was here at The Grosvenor School that Claude Flight taught the art of linocutting. His classes were attended by his colleagues Power and Andrews and students that came from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, attracted by the advertisements in The Studio magazine. Around this time he and Sybil Andrews began co-authoring prints together under the name Andrew Power.

1929 saw Claude Flight and his associates mount the first exhibition of British linocuts in June at the Redfern Gallery, London. A series of exhibitions were held annually both there and at the Ward Gallery. Further exhibitions were arranged by Flight and traveled to the United States Of America, Australia and China.

The success of these exhibitions led to a commission by Frank Pick, the Deputy Chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London to design a series of posters. These were produced as chromolithographyand were based on the theme of sporting venues reached via the London Underground system and lead to further sporting posters which became stylistically influential on other artists of the era.

In 1930 Power was elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists and established a studio with Andrews in Hammersmith close to the River Thames, a location which inspired many prints by both artists, most notably ‘The Eight’ by Power and ‘Bringing in the Boat’ by Sybil Andrews.

Their first major joint exhibition was at the Redfern Gallery in 1933 which consisted of linocuts and monotypes. The following years saw many more joint exhibitions until the dissolution of their informal partnership in July 1938 when they gave up their studio. Andrews moved to her cottage ‘Pipers’, near Lymington on the Hampshire coast which Power had modernised and enlarged the previous year. She met and married shipyard worker Walter Morgan during the war in 1943, and emigrated to Canada with him four years later. Power rejoined the family who had just moved from Hertfordshire to New Malden in Surrey.

In September 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, Power was attached to a Heavy Rescue Squad as a surveyor, based at Wandsworth Town Hall. He continued drawing and painting, tending to work principally in oils using a palette knife technique. He also spent time lecturing on painting and linocutting to the local art society at New Malden and at Kingston-Upon-Thames.

During the last year of his life Power completed some eighty-nine oil paintings, a format he had grown increasingly fond of in the preceding years. These were mainly landscapes of the surrounding areas, often Helford River and the Falmouth area of Cornwall as well as some floral studies. He died in London in May 1951, aged seventy-eight.

Notable works

  • The Tube Station (1932)
  • The Tube Staircase (1929)
  • Skaters (1930)
  • The Eight (1930)
  • The Merry Go Round (1931)

Source: Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

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